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761024 - Lecture SB 05.05.02 - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

761024SB-VRNDAVAN - October 24, 1976 - 29.25 Minutes

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of synonyms)

. . . suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
(SB 5.5.2)

Translation: (00:29) "One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities. These personalities are impersonalists and devotees. Whether one wants to merge into the Lord's existence or wants to associate with the Personality of Godhead, one should render service to the mahātmās. For those who are not interested in such activities, who associate with people fond of women and sex, the path to hell is wide open. The mahātmās are equipoised. They do not see any difference between one living entity and another. They are very peaceful and are fully engaged in devotional service. They are devoid of anger, and they work for the benefit of everyone. They do not behave in any abominable way. Such people are known as mahātmās." (break)


mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā
vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
(SB 5.5.2)

So in the previous verse it was recommended, tapo: "Don't live the life of cats and dogs." This is the advice. But be tapasvī. Tapasya. Human life is meant for tapasya, and tapasya means beginning tapasā brahmacaryeṇa (SB 6.1.13). This is tapasya. Tapasya begins with brahmacarya, celibacy. No sex life. That is tapasya.

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena damena va
tyāgena sattva-śaucyābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā
(SB 6.1.13)

The whole yogic process means how to become free from sexual desire. Indriya saṁyama. Yogam indriya-saṁyamaḥ. The yoga practice . . . formerly, everyone was practicing this yoga, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, asana, praṇāyāma, just to become very stout and strong in the matter of sense gratification. Sense gratification is not at all good without any restriction. That is tapasya—tapasā brahmacaryeṇa. And the first-class tapasya is to cease from sex life, either man or woman. Then tapasya begins.

So the real purpose is tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyed sattva (SB 5.5.1), to purify our existence. Therefore tapasya we have explained already. Now how this tapasya can be practiced? Tapasya can be practiced in the association of mahat, mahat-sevā. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. People do not know what is vimukti. They do not know it. The first instruction of Bhagavad-gītā is suggesting that "You are not this body. You are within this body." And vimukti means not to accept any more this material body. That is vimukti. And Bhāgavata says, mukti definition: mukti hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa avasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). That is mukti. Mukti means when you are situated in your original position. That is mukti. My original position is that I am Brahman, I am spirit soul. I'm not Para-brahman. That is another māyā. I am Brahman, every one of us. But I am working not as Brahman, but I am working as this body. My responsibility . . . I am thinking, "I'm Indian," so I'm working for nationalism, for Indian welfare and so on, so on. You are working for America, or another is working for England. So this is all bodily conception. So body . . . I'm not body. So therefore mukti means when I shall give up this bodily conception of life, that is mukti. And so long I shall be absorbed or captivated or conditioned by the bodily concept of life, there is no question of mukti. Mukti hitvānyathā rūpam. Anyathā rūpam means I'm acting at the present moment on the bodily conception of life.

So Kṛṣṇa, in the very beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, suggesting mukti. So, "Arjuna, you are lamenting for things which no paṇḍita, no learned man, laments." Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (BG 2.11). "You are talking very high, high words, ideas, that 'If my brothers are killed, my sister-in-laws will be widows and their character will be polluted, then varṇa-saṅkara . . .' These are all bodily conception of life. You come to the spiritual platform." And what is that spirit? That is dehi. Dehi means "one who has got this body, " not "this body." This is the first instruction. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). So deha and dehi. Dehi, in Sanskrit it is said if you possess something, then there is grammatical "in" pratyaya. Deha, dehin. Guṇa, guṇin. So when you possess something, then this "in" pratyaya is used. So I'm not deha, I'm dehin. Therefore this word is used, dehi. Dehi means "the possessor of the body." So asmin dehe, there is the proprietor. And everywhere . . . and in another place, Bhagavad-gītā, kṣetra kṣetrajñaḥ. Kṣetra means "this body," and kṣetrajñaḥ: one who knows that "It is my body." That is kṣetrajñaḥ. Ksetra . . . just like ordinarily, kṣetra means land. A cultivator knows, "This is my land," not that "I am land." A driver knows that "I am the driver. I am not the car. The car is different from me." So this knowledge is imparted immediately. Then as soon as you understand that you are not this deha but you are dehi, then naturally your inquiry will be, then "I am working on the platform of deha, then what is my work?" That is called brahma-jijñāsā. This is called athāto brahma jijñāsā.

So this spiritual culture means first of all one must know. Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī first of all inquired this question. He was a minister, and he's asking Caitanya Mahāprabhu that "These rascal friends," grāmya-vyavahare . . . grāmya-vyavahare. In our village life or anywhere, we make some friendships. Sometimes we call another man chacha, or uncle, or brother, like that. So this is called grāmya-vyavahāre. Actually, neither one is my chacha, neither he's brother, but we address like that. So therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī said, grāmya-vyavahāre kahe paṇḍita. So "They say that I am paṇḍita, I am learned." And because he was brāhmaṇa, so brāhmaṇas are addressed in India as paṇḍita. So grāmya-vyavahāre kahaye paṇḍita, satya kari māni. "But I am so foolish that I also accept that I am paṇḍita." "Why not? You are paṇḍita. You are educated." "No. Because," āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni, "I do not know what is my actual position, what is the goal of my life. So I'm not a paṇḍita. I'm mūrkhā, mūḍha." That is the presentation of Sanātana Gosvāmī. So one should approach the spiritual master understanding that he's a mūḍha. Not that "I know better than my spiritual master. I can challenge." Tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34).

So if we want to know ourself, as Kṛṣṇa . . . everywhere. This is the whole idea of cultivation, spiritual cultivation. First of all, I must know what I am, whether I am this body. Kṛṣṇa said, "No, you are not body. You are within this body. You are enwrapped in this body. You are packed up within this body. First of all, know this." That is Kṛṣṇa's first instruction. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara prāptir (BG 2.13). Very simple thing—that we are changing body. This is first instruction of Kṛṣṇa. So as with the association of Kṛṣṇa, by instruction of Kṛṣṇa, I can understand my position . . . as Sanātana Goswāmī, by the association of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he could understand his position, similarly, we should approach such person wherefrom we can understand our position. Therefore it is recommended, mahat-sevām. You do not approach Kṛṣṇa or His representative to order him or to make him your servant: "Sir, give me this, give me that," and "Yes, you can take it, you can . . ." Flattering. So that is not the position. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur.

If you want to know . . . first of all, you know what you are. Then the question is vimukti. The same thing, same proposal. In the Vedic instruction there is no difference. Everywhere we'll find the same thing. That is standard knowledge. Not that I am saying something, you are saying something. That is not Vedic knowledge. That is speculation. Vedic knowledge means wherever you take, it is the same thing. There is no difference. Either you read Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or the Cātur-Veda or Upaniṣad or Vedānta, you'll find the same conclusion. That is Vedic knowledge. They are instructed, they are arranged in such a way that according to the position of the person one can understand. This is the Vedic scheme. The Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata, they are meant for the less intelligent class of men who cannot understand directly the Vedic instruction. But gradually, by reading historical fact and instances, they can understand. Trayī na śruti-gocarā. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Vyāsadeva worked very hard to awaken the human society to the Vedic knowledge. And what is that Vedic knowledge? To understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). That is Vedic knowledge. Otherwise, you are a big Vedāntī, big student of Upaniṣad, and so on, so on, but you do not know Kṛṣṇa, what He is—it is useless. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). That is simply wasting time.

So we have to approach. So mahat-sevā. This is sevā. Do not approach the mahātmā for challenging. That is not . . . then you will be cheated. If you want to be . . . just like one great, learned scholar, so-called scholar, he came to Vṛndāvana and he saw Rūpa Gosvāmī. So Rūpa Gosvāmī, he said, "Sir, I have come to you." "Now, what is the purpose?" "Now, I have traveled all over India, and I had a śāstra carcā, and I have become victorious. They have accepted me. So I have come to you to discuss on Vedic knowledge." So then Rūpa Gosvāmī inquired from him, "Actually what do you want?" Now, "I want also that you acknowledge me that I'm a great scholar. That I want." "All right. I acknowledge, you are a great scholar." "No, then you give me in writing." So Rūpa Gosvāmī gave him in writing, "I met this man; he's a great scholar, and I am defeated." He gave in writing. Of course, Jīva Gosvāmī took that paper very tactfully and defeated him. So this is not the method of meeting Rūpa Gosvāmī. One should go very humbly, mahat-sevām. Rūpa Gosvāmī is mahat. You should not go there to challenge. Then you'll be cheated. You must go to Rūpa Gosvāmī and his representative with a humble . . . tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). When you want to learn, you must approach that person praṇipātena. Prakṛṣṭa rūpena seva. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā.

That is also stated in the . . . the same thing is recommended here, that mahat-sevām. If you want the purpose of life and if you want to execute tapasya, if you want all these things, then you should approach a mahātmā, not durātmā. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). That is mahātmā. Mahātmā is not made by stamp, that "You are a mahātmā," "You are a harijana." It is not like that. Mahātmā is different person. Mahātmā means whose ātmā is very broad—broader ātmā, not crippled. All are durātmā. Everyone is thinking, "I am this, Indian," "I am American," "I am this," "I am that." But what mahātmā thinking? He's thinking, "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. I am not servant of these petty things. I am servant of Kṛṣṇa, Para-brahman." Gopī-bhartur pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsa (CC Madhya 13.80). That is mahātmā. "I am the servant of Kṛṣṇa's servant, servant, servant, hundred times servant." The lower my position is servant, then I am great mahātmā. Ordinarily they think mahātmā, that "I am on the top, on the topmost platform." That is not mahātmā. This is our Caitanya philosophy. Mahātmā is he . . .

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā . . .
(CC Adi 17.31)

He's mahātmā. This is mahātmā. So you have to approach such mahātmā. That is recommendation in the Bhakti-rāsamṛta-sindhu: ādau gurvāśrayam sadhu mārgānugamanam sad-dharma pṛcchāt. These are things wanted. So if you actually want to execute tapasya, then you must approach a person who has already executed tapasya, tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). Then you'll get the things. Mahat-sevām. And there you have to render your service. Humbleness, service, sevayā. You can question mahātmā not by challenging but surrounded by praṇipāt and sevā. Otherwise, you have no right to question. Just like this man went to Rūpa Gosvāmī. He has no right to waste time.

So actually this discussion, instructions, are to be executed amongst the guru and the disciples, where there is submission. Otherwise there is no need of. Nowadays we hold some meeting. Some ordinary people, they come to hear. But that kind of discussion Caitanya Mahāprabhu never did. Never did. Because these outsiders, they are not submissive. They come to see the fun. They do not come to learn something. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu never made any big meeting. In big meeting He was present, but kīrtana, saṅkīrtana. He was meeting in big meeting daily in the evening for four hours in Jagannātha temple, but the whole period of time was engaged in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. But when there was a person like Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya or Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī or Rāmānanda Rāya, like such exalted person, He used to discuss. Otherwise, He was not discussing. There was no need of discussing, because they do not approach with that humbleness. They think . . . just like Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. So long Arjuna was thinking that "Kṛṣṇa is my friend. I shall reply Him equally," then Kṛṣṇa was very gravely speaking. But when Arjuna understood that "This kind of talking there will be no benefit," then he became His disciple: śiṣyas te 'ham śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). "There is no more discussion. Now I accept You as my guru."

Guru means whatever instruction he'll give, we have to accept without any argument. Vedic knowledge is like that. You cannot interpret. As it is, you have to accept. Similarly guru's word also you have to accept. No argument. That is Vedic knowledge. That is the Vedic system. This example we have given many times: Just like this cow dung. Cow dung is the stool of an animal. So the stool of an animal is most impure thing. As soon as you touch, even your own stool . . . you may be very learned scholar or devotee, but that does not meant you can touch your own stool and remain purified. No. Immediately you have to take bath. Even his own, what to speak of others'. But in the Vedic instruction we see that the cow dung, it is the stool of an animal also, lower animal than the man, and it is pure, it is said. So you have to accept pure. No argument that "Such stool is impure. Even my spiritual master's stool is also impure. How is that that animal cow dung is pure?" But because it is in the Vedas it is said pure, you have to accept. Similarly, the conchshell, it is the bone of an animal. The bone, if you touch any dead body's bone, you'll have to take, immediately, purify. But that, this bone is placed in the Deity room. We are daily blowing the conchshell—because the Vedic instruction. So there is no argument. If you accept Vedic instruction, you have to accept it as it is.

Therefore we are protesting to all these rascals who are making interpretation of Bhagavad-gītā, "You rascals, you cannot do anything. You have to accept Kṛṣṇa's word. That is Vedic knowledge. And if, you rascal, if you interpret, then you are lost and everything is lost." Yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. As Kṛṣṇa says,

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
(BG 4.2)

As soon as you give up this paramparā system, immediately the whole thing is lost, sa kālaneha . . . otherwise what was the use of Kṛṣṇa speaking again to Arjuna? Because Bhagavad-gītā was there, current, but Kṛṣṇa said because the paramparā system is lost, every rascal is interpreting. This is the system always. As soon as some time goes away, so many rascals come, and they interpret Bhagavad-gītā in their own rascaldom way. That is lost. Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. "Therefore I am advising you again. You take it." So if we take Bhagavad-gītā in that way—or any śāstra—through the paramparā channel, then it is all right. Just like this example. This is Vedic instruction, Vedic order: "Yes, cow dung is pure." We have to take it. This is paramparā. "Yes, conchshell is pure. Although it is bone, never mind. It is pure." The order.

So spiritual master's order, because we do not know, therefore we have to approach mahātmā who can give me right instruction. So mahat-sevā. So if you go to spiritual master . . . mahātmā and durātmā. Two words are there opposite: brāhmaṇa and a kṛpana. Brāhmaṇa mean one who has understood the Lord, the Supreme Brahman, Kṛṣṇa, Paraṁbrahman. He is brāhmaṇa. And means one who is bhakta, he is brāhmaṇa. A bhakta is brāhmaṇa, and a brāhmaṇa is not a bhakta, not necessarily. Because if he does not know . . . a brāhmaṇa may know what is Brahman, but he may not know what is Kṛṣṇa. So a brāhmaṇa has to become a Vaiṣṇava. Then he is perfect. Brāhmaṇa-Vaiṣṇava. Brāhmaṇa-paṇḍita. Otherwise, if he remains simply a brāhmaṇa, then he cannot become guru. That is the instruction.

Ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇoḥ vipraḥ. Vipra means brāhmaṇa. And he knows everything, karma-kāṇḍīya. Ṣaṭ-karma. Paṭhan pāṭhan yajan yājan dāna pratigraha. Everything. Mantra-tantra-viśaṛada. He is very expert in karma-kāṇḍīya activities, ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇoḥ vipraḥ. And mantra-tantra-viśaṛada: and he knows how to chant very correctly the Vedic hymns, mantra-tantra, and the tantra śāstra—everything complete. But if he's not a Vaiṣṇava, ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇoḥ vipraḥ mantra-tantra-viśaṛada avaiṣṇava gurur na sa syāt. If he's not a Vaiṣṇava, he cannot take the position of a spiritual master. No. One should not go there. He's not mahātmā. He's still durātmā, because he does not know Kṛṣṇa. His knowledge is not complete. His knowledge will be complete, as Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). If he continues to be very learned brāhmaṇa for many, many births, then if he comes to his senses, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante, then he becomes Vaiṣṇava, when he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Because by his cultivation of knowledge he can understand, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19). Then he is Vaiṣṇava. To such mahātmā we have to approach. Then our life is successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)